Media Advisory for Tuesday, October 15, 2019 – 11 AM
Contact: Mike Long, (213) 304-9777
UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS TO CALL ON LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL TO ESTABLISH A $30/HR LIVING WAGE FOR RIDESHARE DRIVERS
Hundreds of Uber and Lyft Drivers Will Descend On Los Angeles City Hall to Call On the City to Establish a $30/Hour Living Wage Ordinance for Rideshare Drivers Within City Boundaries
LOS ANGELES — On the heels of the passage of California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), which corrects misclassification of rideshare drivers and greatly expands their rights as workers, Los Angeles-based drivers with the Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA)will call on the L.A. City Council to take further steps to both protect drivers and recapture lost tax revenue by establishing a $30/hour living wage ordinance for rideshare drivers in Los Angeles. Drivers are urging the Los Angeles City Council to follow the City of El Monte’s lead – setting a $30/hour floor for drivers, with $15 for take home wages and $15 to cover operating costs and other benefits.
Since the passage of Assembly Bill 5, Uber, Lyft, and others have vowed to fight the law, promising a commitment of at least $90 million to overturn the law with a ballot initiative next year.
Until the law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, rideshare drivers remain misclassified as “independent contractors” by gig economy giants like Uber and Lyft and are forced to cover the companies’ costs of ferrying riders back and forth. As a result, the average rideshare driver earns less than minimum wage after factoring in driving expenses. A Los Angeles rideshare driver wage ordinance would set a $30/hour floor for rideshare drivers in the city, with $15 for take home wages and $15 to cover operating expenses and other benefits.
In August, El Monte, CA, became the first city in the country to direct city officials to draft a $30/hour living wage ordinance for drivers. Should such a directive pass in Los Angeles, it would be the largest city in the nation to take such a bold step toward protecting drivers.
For the past three years, MWA rideshare drivers have sounded the alarm on Uber and Lyft’s repeated rate cuts, the dangerously long hours, and the lack of basic job protections because of their misclassification as “contractors” rather than employees. In addition to calling on municipalities to improve working conditions for drivers, MWA’s 10,000-strong Southern California driver network lobbied vociferously in support of AB5, including embarking on a nearly 1,000-mile caravan across the state. The organization is now demanding that state lawmakers establish a path to unionization for rideshare drivers and other gig workers.
WHAT: Uber and Lyft drivers to demand a $30/hour living wage for rideshare drivers in Los Angeles.
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers, Los Angeles residents, and community leaders.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 starting at 11 A.M.
WHERE: Los Angeles City Hall, Spring Street Steps, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft drivers in a massive motor march around LA City Hall, featuring decorated cars with pro-$30/hr. and pro-Union insignia – including MWA car flags and signs – plus huge floating banners with pro-$30/hr. and pro-Union messaging.
Rideshare drivers throughout California and in Los Angeles County have been organizing for living wages, benefits, and the right to form a union at the same time as Assembly Bill (AB-5) made its way through the State Legislature. AB-5, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 18, opens the door for rideshare drivers to be reclassified as employees and greatly expands their labor rights, including a living wage, benefits, and basic job protections. However, rideshare giants Uber and Lyft have already pledged to fight the new law via a $90 million ballot measure and Uber has declared that it will not reclassify drivers as they “operate outside the usual course of Uber’s business.”
Drivers have urged state lawmakers to take even further action to ensure drivers secure a pathway to collectively bargain with Uber and Lyft through a driver-led union.
The public call for $30/hour in Los Angeles arrives at a time of growing driver discontent over Uber and Lyft’s race to the bottom through the worker misclassification that enables the companies’ repeated rate cuts and unfair driver deactivations. Drivers organizing under the Mobile Workers Alliance banner have lobbied at the State Capitol in support of AB-5 and the right to form a union; have protested outside of Uber headquarters; have embarked on a nearly 1,000 mile caravan up and down California; and have shut down the departure level at Los Angeles International Airport.
A Los Angeles $30/hour living wage ordinance for rideshare drivers would be groundbreaking for California and the country at large. A recent study on rideshare drivers conducted by the Economic Policy Institute pegged the average hourly wage for Uber drivers, when compared to W-2 employees, at $9.21 after driving expenses—an amount far below LA County’s minimum wage.